The role of the Department of Lands is to facilitate and manage land related issues. The Department is comprised of three main Sections namely the Land Survey Section, Land Section and Land Records Section.
With increase demand for development in terms of land dealings, the challenge for the Department of Land in 2017 is its limited human resources and budget.
In 2017 the Lands Section under the Valuation Unit embarked on acquisition of 33 sites for public interest some of which were rolled over from 2016. The acquisition process involved the Land Survey Section to survey many sites for purpose of Schedule four of the acquisition process. With only one Acquiring officer, this is really an uphill challenge. Many of these sites will be rolled over to 2018.
The Department of Land, Survey and Records collect the bulge of the revenue under the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources in one year. These are collected from land related fees charged by the three Sections of which the Land Records Section collects the substantial amount.
The Land Survey Section is also heavily involved in the monitoring of the horizontal and vertical displacement of the Eastern and Western part of the island of Ambae during the Ambae Volcanic disaster.
Apart from the Department normal ongoing activities, we have been a part of the completion of the following;
1.The Finalisation of the Subdivision Policy, although it was report to have been completed in the 2016 report period.
This year 2017, saw the age retirement of seven (7) permanent officers from Lands some of whom have served the government just after Independence in 1980.
The major challenge faced by the department of Lands, Survey and Records is its aging work force and limited human and financial resources.
Given of the many challenges, whether financial, human resources or most of all land related challenges, I wish to take this opportunity to sincerely acknowledge my officers who have worked tirelessly to achieve what is being presented in our report.
Land is a resource that requires proper management in order to steer the socioeconomic development of Vanuatu in a positive direction. It is the Land Department's vision to manage land in a sustainable manner and ensure progress with equity and stability.
The Department of Lands comprises of four sections: